Robert Ayson

Robert Ayson is Professor of Strategic Studies and directs the Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand. He has held academic positions with The Australian National University, Massey University and the University of Waikato, and official positions in Wellington with the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee and the External (now National) Assessments Bureau. He has written books on two of the twentieth century’s leading thinkers in strategic studies and international relations, Hedley Bull and Thomas Schelling, and is a frequent media commentator on Asia-Pacific security, nuclear issues and New Zealand and Australian defence policy. Robert is also Honorary Professor at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College.  

When friends disagree: New Zealand and Australia

One of Jacinda Ardern’s early prime ministerial tasks was to head off some potentially bad optics in New Zealand’s most important bilateral relationship. After all, she was leading just the sort of government that Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, had said would be difficult to...

China’s rise and New Zealand’s interests: a policy primer for 2030

In this study, we seek to do three things. First, we examine what we believe China’s economic, political and military trajectory will resemble between now and the early 2030s. Second, we contemplate the effects that this trajectory for China will have on international institutions and...

The economics-security nexus under Trump and Xi: policy implications for Asia-Pacific countries

This paper explores how the links between economic and security considerations are intensifying in Asia.

John Key's departure a blow for the region

Introduction New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s surprise resignation announcement has brought the curtain down on a political career that can only described as astonishingly successful. Still hugely popular in the second half of his third term, Key has displayed a remarkable ability to calm...